Love Your Body Series: Make A Compliment, Take A Compliment

Learning to love and respect your body is not just a part of ED recovery – it can enhance the way any person thinks about themselves. Once a week, this series will explore my o wn attitudes to body-loving, spread the love and wisdom of other bloggers and throw out any tips and steps I learn along the way.

I’m not sure how it is in other countries but Irish people aren’t great for taking compliments. There’s an urban legend going around that a Polish girl replied “Thanks, Penneys!” when someone congratulated her on exam results because she figured that’s just what Irish girls say when they get a compliment. (For anyone outside Ireland, Penneys is a very budget friendly clothes shop.)

We don’t like to admit that wilwe are doing well, looking well, feeling well. We shrug it off with a chorus of “It was nothing!” and “This old thing?” Personally, I think it is a combination of two things that makes me uncomfortable with compliments. Firstly, I grew up thinking I wasn’t good enough, so I am paranoid that people are either lying to me or taking the piss. Secondly, I am afraid that by accepting the compliment, I am tooting my own horn and giving myself undue credit. I wouldn’t think this of anyone else if I were to compliment but for some reason, I’m convinced of it for myself.

I’m getting better at saying ca”Thank you.” My friend Emma is amazing in that she doesn’t accept Penneys! as an appropri wiate response to her admiration of your dress.

I’m also not a huge fan of replying with a random compliment to the other person. Don’t grasp at straws; give compliments freely but honestly. In this way, you will also learn to trust that others aren’t just humouring you.

I’m still not totally okay with compliments. I was told I was cute today and had no idea how to respond. There were lots of lovely and true things I could have responded with but instead I laughed off a thank you and changed the subject. I’ll be brave. Next time.

Homework for the week: Compliment others. In the truest way you can – empty words don’t count. If you receive a compliment, say thank you and believe it! You’re probably super cool. Write down the compliments in your journal so you can remind yourself of your awesomeness when doubt starts creeping.

And remember: words carry weight. So use them wisely, affectionately and grammar perfect 😉

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